Cement and Landscapes: Two Art Students Show Their Summer’s Work

Two students opened exhibitions in the Edwards Center for Art and Dance last week to display works from independent art projects they pursued over the summer.

Visual arts major Cody Stack ’16 opened his exhibition impatient/therapist in the Main Gallery on Monday night, and Tess Hamilton ’16 opened Migration in the White Box Gallery on Tuesday night. Hamilton called her show “a collection of paintings based on impermanent homes in diverse landscapes.”

Supported by the Nellie C. Watterson Summer Fellowship in Creative and Performing Arts, Stack spent the summer working with cement. He said the material was his main source of inspiration and that his goal was to understand and explore how cement worked. He added that he thrives in media that is unfamiliar to him. “This was the first time I had worked with cement, and the material required experimentation — you don’t know what the final color or texture might be when it dries,” he said.

In one of the exhibition corners, Stack also incorporated an interactive component; he provides visitors with a hammer to hack at a piece of his work. “I like how you can see inside the piece and the layers of creating it,” he said.

Hamilton’s exhibition is the culmination of her summer painting the landscapes she has traveled to, as well as the landscapes that the Bar-tailed godwit bird migrates to. When she was a junior Hamilton studied ecology in New Zealand. Ten miles from her field site she came upon a Bar-tailed godwit, a bird that performs a nonstop migration of 7,000 or so miles. “As an endurance athlete, I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me,” she said. “They cover two hemispheres and three continents — Northeast Asia, Alaska and New Zealand — without stopping to eat or sleep. I was very impressed.”

She depicts the three continents the bird flies over in three of the exhibition’s landscapes. Her other works feature some of the impermanent homes she has discovered during her Bowdoin career, including Wind River Mountains in Wyoming and the Bowdoin Coastal Studies Center.

With the support of the Kaempfer Summer Art Grant, Hamilton said she had the chance this summer to integrate into her work some of the more important influences on her life: the outdoors, her earth and oceanographic studies major, and travel. “Migration appealed to me because I have travelled to places that are not my home but have resonated with me,” she said. “Returning to my home in New Hampshire and returning to Maine has been made more meaningful. That’s probably the greatest gift of all.”

Stack would like to thank his project advisor, Assistant Professor of Art Jackie Brown, A. Leroy Greason Professor of Art Mark Wethli, and Adjunct Lecturer in Art John.

Hamilton would like to thank Visual Arts Technician Tara Hutton and Academic Department Coordinator for the Visual ArtAlicia Menard.

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